How to Plant a New Dogwood Tree


Flowering dogwood trees are native to the eastern half of the United States, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. The most popular dogwood in the United States is the Cornus florida, according to the National Gardening Association. When mature, dogwood trees can be between 20 feet and 40 feet tall, and they are typically as wide as they are tall. Depending on the species, the dogwood, which is the state tree of Virginia, produces blooms of many colors, including white, red and pink. Some species even have colored bark.

Step 1

Select a site for planting your new dogwood tree. The tree will grow best in full sun or light shade and needs a well-draining soil. Optimal soil pH for dogwoods is between 5 and 6.5, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is as deep as the tree's root structure and between two and three times as wide. It's important that dogwood trees be planted no deeper than they were grown at the nursery. A soil line on the trunk of the tree should indicate proper planting depth.

Step 3

Set the tree in the hole, placing it firmly but gently. Let the roots spread naturally so they are not damaged.

Step 4

Fill in the hole halfway with the surrounding soil. Use your hands to pack the dirt down firmly so no pockets of air remain in the soil.

Step 5

Water the tree thoroughly and allow all the water to be absorbed by the soil.

Step 6

Fill in the remainder of the hole with the surrounding soil, again making sure it is packed firmly to remove air pockets.

Step 7

Water the tree thoroughly. For the first week after planting, the tree's root ball should get water every day, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. When you purchase your tree, check with the nursery to see how much water it received. For the first week, apply the same amount or slightly more.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel


  • University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: Dogwood Trees
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Flowering Dogwood
  • National Gardening Association: Dogwood
Keywords: planting dogwood trees, growing dogwood trees, about dogwood trees

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.